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Saturday, January 30, 2010

Media turns to disaster porn to keep an audience

Media turns to disaster porn to keep an audience

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From Salon

Excerpt:

"Rather than reporting on what made Haiti so poor and therefore its infrastructure so susceptible to collapse, we get clips of Haitians momentarily cheering "USA!" as food packages trickle into their devastated capital. Rather than inquiries about how poverty made Haiti so ill-prepared for rescue operations, the disaster pornographers instead obediently follow George W. Bush, who self-servingly says, "You've got to deal with the desperation and there ought to be no politicization of that."


Comment:


Surely most cable channels are trading on the telegenic images to keep their audiences glued to their TV sets. That is no "breaking news" to those quick on the uptake.

That a few or that one channel should turn their reporters into ersatz relief-workers and show them performing all sort of jobs, operating on people even, is all part of the disgusting war for ratings.

That a few reporters should perhaps invest somewhat unconventionally in their sartorial picks, it is only because they know they are being watched with a critical eye by others with different tastes.

Do they add to the current debate as to what should be done to lift Haiti out of its lethargic, unimpressive, economic predicament? They may very well do.

T-shirted newsmen and nightingale-like newswomen and other bloodhounds might, perhaps maliciously, bring to the fore, if we care to look closely and go past their rhetoric, images never before seen that will make us spring into action.

We "the ogling people" have the power to keep an eye on how things are being managed and how funds in that ravaged country are being distributed. And, most importantly, we are ever more conscious of the inner workings of this world where the fittest survive.

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